(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has greeted participants in a Vatican conference on the value and values of water promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Wednesday, March 22, marks the 25th iteration of World Water Day, instituted by the United Nations in 1992.
The conference is entitled “ Watershed: replenishing water values for a thirsty world ”.
During his greetings to English speakers at the General Audience, Pope Francis gave a special welcome and encouraged participants in their work.
“I am happy that this meeting is taking place, for it represents yet another stage in the joint commitment of various institutions to raising consciousness about the need to protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone, mindful too of its cultural and religious significance. I especially encourage your efforts in the area of education, through programmes directed to children and young people. Thank you for all that you do and may God bless you!”
Speakers at the one-day event include Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday called for an ongoing commitment to welcome and integrate forced migrants and refugees and described the current migration phenomenon as the world’s greatest tragedy after the Second World War.
Speaking on Wednesday to crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience, the Pope also continued his catechesis on Christian hope and appealed to the faithful to ‘re-discover’ the Sacrament of Reconciliation . In his appeal , launched after the catechesis, Pope Francis reminded all Catholic communities to participate in the upcoming “ 24 hours for the Lord ” initiative on 23rd and 24th of March with Churches across the globe offering the Sacrament of Confession as a “privileged moment of grace” during our Lenten journey. And speaking to an Italian association that offers services and help to migrants and refugees upon their arrival and a long-term process of integration, the Pope highlighted the rights and the responsibilities of those who receive and of those who are received, and described the current migration crisis as the greatest tragedy after World War 2. His words come just days before EU Heads of State or Government convene in the city to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. In his catechesis meanwhile, Pope Francis reflected on a reading from Saint Paul which focusses on the attitudes of steadfastness and encouragement. They are intimately connected to the reality of Christian hope because ours, he said, is a God of steadfastness as he loves us perseveringly and never tires of consoling us. He is also a God of encouragement, he continued, who calls us to be close to the weak and the needy with whom he asks us to be strong and to be sowers of hope. What’s more, the Pope continued, Christians are called to spread hope by supporting and encouraging one another, especially those in danger of faltering. But we do so, he concluded, with the strength provided by the Lord, who is our unfailing source of hope. (from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video message to young people on Tuesday to help them prepare for the XXXII World Youth Day, which is being celebrated at the diocesan level on Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017.
The theme of this year’s WYD is “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
In the video, Pope Francis highlights several themes of his full message for WYD , inviting young people to embark on a path of spiritual preparation for the international celebration of World Youth Day in Panama on 22-27 January 2019.
Watch the full video:
Below please find the official English translation of the Pope’s video message:
Dear young people,
With the memory vividly in our minds of our meeting together at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, we have set out towards the next goal that will be, God willing, Panama in 2019. These moments of encounter and conversation with you are very important to me. I want this journey to proceed in line with preparations for the next Synod of Bishops because it is dedicated to you, young people.
We are accompanied on this journey by Our Mother, the Virgin Mary. She encourages us with her faith, the same faith that she expressed in her song of praise. Mary said, “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49). She knew how to give thanks to God who looked upon her littleness, and she recognised the great things that God was accomplishing in her life. So she set off to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was old and needed her to be close by. Mary did not stay at home because she was not a young couch potato who looks for comfort and safety where nobody can bother them. She was moved by faith because faith is at the heart of Our Mother’s entire life story.
Dear young people, God is also watching over you and calling you, and when God does so, he is looking at all the love you are able to offer. Like the young woman of Nazareth, you can improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history ‒ your history and that of many others. The Church and society need you. With your plans and with your courage, with your dreams and ideals, walls of stagnation fall and roads open up that lead us to a better, fairer, less cruel and more humane world.
As you follow this path, I encourage you to cultivate a relationship of familiarity and friendship with Our Lady. She is our Mother. Speak to her as you would to a Mother. Together with her, give thanks for the precious gift of faith that you have received from your elders, and entrust your whole life to her. She is a good Mother who listens to you and embraces you, who loves you and walks together with you. I assure you that if you do that, you will not regret it.
Have a good pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019.
May God bless you all.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday urged Christians to spread hope by supporting and encouraging one another.
He was speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience.
Please find below the English summary of the Pope’s catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we reflect on two words used by Saint Paul in the opening reading: steadfastness and encouragement. Paul says that both are contained in the message of the Scriptures, but even more, that ours is a God of steadfastness and encouragement (cf. Rom 15:4-5). In the Christian life, we are called to spread hope by supporting and encouraging one another, especially those in danger of faltering. But we do so with the strength provided by the Lord, who is our unfailing source of hope. Faithful to the Apostle’s injunction, may we always live in harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
(from Vatican Radio)…